Wayne (Pa.) Valley Forge Military Academy three-star offensive tackle Jeff Otah is more than a big-time football player. He's also a student first and foremost, so it wasn't a surprise to see him get excited about a big paper he just finished just like he does when he's on the football field.
"It was a paper for psychology class," the big 6-foot-7, 340-pounder said. "It about drugs effects on people. I think it's looking like an A paper."
Making good grades on the football field is something Otah does, too. He's regarded by some college coaches as one of the juco tackles available this season. A monster of a man, Otah is bigger and stronger than his opponents. He also has great feet, which comes from years of playing basketball.
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"They call me Baby Shaq," Otah said. "But I can make my free throws."
Otah said he knows basketball isn't his future, but football is.
"I played basketball all my life, but I just stopped growing when I hit 6-7," he said. "I think I'm a pretty good football player. I like pass blocking the best. I have quick feet and can get to the pass rusher. I also am a good run blocker.
"There's nothing better than a pancake block. You get to look down on the guy and know you owned him."
Otah admits he could get better, though.
"I have room to grow," he said. "I need to improve my speed and get better technique. If I do that then I know I'll be at the top of my game."
Otah is being heavily courted. He reports offers from Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, West Virignia, Maryland, Michigan State, Marshall, Ohio, Western Michigan and South Carolina.
He's already visited Pittsburgh and is set to visit West Virginia on December 9. South Carolina is also getting a visit in January some time. And it's the Gamecocks that Otah talked the most about when he was asked about his favorites.
"I'm talking a lot to coach (John) Hunt at South Carolina," Otah said. "He's a good guy. He's pretty real. I would like to also play for a coach like Steve Spurrier. He's a pretty good college coach. I'm going to go there for a visit in January and see what it's like.
"I'm also set up to visit West Virginia. Bill Kirelawich is recruiting me for them. I've had a few good talks with them, but not as many as I've had with South Carolina or Pitt."
He's not sure which other school is in line to get a visit, but he does have options with Oklahoma, Maryland and Michigan State all possibilities.